I'm spending 10 nights at The Highland Club in Ft Augustus, Scotland which is on the southern shore of Loch Ness. Let me tell you, it's the closest thing to staying at Howarts you could get! Several people in the guest book agreed.
I arrived into Inverness, picked up the rental car and proceeded down the shore of Loch Ness in the pitch black night, without my GPS working. Let me tell you, driving on the opposite side of the car and the road, in the pitch black and trying to follow the roundabout signs is NOT fun. Not to mention the road on the map looks fairly straight, but it's not. It's a series of connected N turns, on the edge of the cliff along the side of Loch Ness, and the speed limit is 60. Oh, and there are NO lights along the road of any kind, so you can only see as far as your headlights reach, and I'm convinced mine are aimed too low. I drove that road many times the last time I was here, but it was summer then and the sun didn't set until 10:30pm. Luckily, the road wasn't too crowded. When I saw a few cars behind me I would pull over into the scenic 'parking' spots that are all along the road and let them pass, which made it much less stressful. I didn't go over 45mph. Those people going 60 are freaking nuts, in my opinion. Robert, one of the managers at the Highland Club told me it's the locals going that fast, and that people go over the side of that road all the time.
The Highland club is luxury apartments that are in what was originally a British garrison fort, then a Benedictine Abbey, and finally a boys boarding school. The apt I picked was the boys dormitory when it was a school. The apartment is seriously amazing! The floors are gorgeous, and so is everything else. I loved that the owners used vintage and antique items throughout, such as the bed, light fixtures, chairs and most of the furniture. The bathroom features a rain shower head with fantastic water pressure and a glorious claw foot tub (which came in handy after a day of skiing and a truly spectacular fall yesterday.)
The description says it's on the 3rd floor, but in reality, it's the 4th floor and there is no elevator. The good news is that when I do the stair climber, I do 150+ floors, so it's not too bad. And the views are totally worth the climb!!! The windows in the living area look down the length of Loch Ness. The ones in the bedroom overlook the courtyard which features gargoyles and giant chess! the skylights in the kitchen area look out over the turrets and the surrounding munros (Scottish for mountains). I could sit on the couch and look at that view all day.
The photos are:
Me pushing the cart at Platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross Station in London. (excuse the terrible hat hair, it was super cold and raining/snowing that day).
The kitchen/living area of the Boys Dormitory
The view from the living room windows (1st and 2nd)
The view from the kitchen windows
The last 3 photos are from the bedroom windows.